Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04.08.2008, 19:25
bubbles4352's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 572
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 174 Times in 108 Posts
bubbles4352 is considered knowledgeablebubbles4352 is considered knowledgeablebubbles4352 is considered knowledgeable
[Italian] use of the word "prego"

hi there

What does "prego" mean? From my limited exposure to Italian and waiters/bar staff it seems to mean:
- ok
- yes / sure
- you're welcome
- no problem
- please / thanks
- and it also seems to be the answer to pretty much any question...

Is it similar to the german word "gern"?

cheers
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04.08.2008, 19:26
Lob's Avatar
Lob Lob is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: -
Posts: 7,795
Groaned at 42 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 1,973 Times in 1,060 Posts
Lob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond reputeLob has a reputation beyond repute
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

Literally please but can mean "you're welcome" (eg. "grazie", "prego")
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Lob for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 04.08.2008, 19:28
Louis Wu's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: varied, now Nouvelle Normandie
Posts: 1,024
Groaned at 24 Times in 21 Posts
Thanked 907 Times in 455 Posts
Louis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond reputeLouis Wu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

I thought it meant something similar to please as in "Si prego d'attendre" = please wait.
Maybe it's like gern and has many meanings.

BTW @ Lob - do you change your avatar as often as your underpants?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04.08.2008, 19:46
gregv's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: -
Posts: 1,315
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 626 Times in 303 Posts
gregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond repute
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

It seems to pretty much take the same role as "bitte" in German. Though I don't know much Italian past what is on a menu...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04.08.2008, 20:19
Snowbear's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 302
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 199 Times in 112 Posts
Snowbear has earned the respect of manySnowbear has earned the respect of manySnowbear has earned the respect of many
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

Ciao!

I'm not a word maven, but definitely a fan of Italian language and food. Here's my angle:

Prego is one of those great words that can be many things to many people, in many circumstances. Gesticulations usually make the meaning apparent (e.g. "you're welcome", "my pleasure", "this way, please", "dig in!"...). So trust your gut: only tricky situation might be over the phone. Pregare is the verb ("farsi pregare" - "to make 'em beg").

Like the French "prière (n) / prier (v)" it's a prayer and an instrument of politeness all-in-one.

Buon appetito!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Snowbear for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 04.08.2008, 20:25
Nathu's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Zürich
Posts: 4,521
Groaned at 18 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 2,208 Times in 1,248 Posts
Nathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

As far as I know, its use is narrower than the German "bitte". It can't be used like "please", which translates as "per favore" instead.

In written Italian, you sometimes encounter "Si prega di +infinitive", which is a verb and literally translates to "one asks to...".
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Nathu for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 04.08.2008, 22:39
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Luzern
Posts: 68
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 11 Times in 8 Posts
TOPO has no particular reputation at present
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

Quote:
View Post
As far as I know, its use is narrower than the German "bitte". It can't be used like "please", which translates as "per favore" instead.

In written Italian, you sometimes encounter "Si prega di +infinitive", which is a verb and literally translates to "one asks to...".
Which more in our way of saying it means, if it pleases you. Prego. No only if you are saying please. You're welcome is a little more limited in how it is used.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank TOPO for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 11.08.2008, 14:43
Aeneas's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Winterthur, ZH
Posts: 1,073
Groaned at 41 Times in 34 Posts
Thanked 1,172 Times in 575 Posts
Aeneas has a reputation beyond reputeAeneas has a reputation beyond reputeAeneas has a reputation beyond reputeAeneas has a reputation beyond repute
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

As stated previously pregare is the verb, however this more correctly is translated as 'pray' rather than 'beg', which in Italian is more correctly mendicare. Off the top of my head, the examples that have been given here as to its use are pretty much the only times you'll use it (outside of it's use as as the verb to pray).

From an English perspective I find it helps to think of Italian as often using Elizabethan or Shakespearian constructs. Thus "Si prega id..." becomes a "I pray thee to..." - which probably gives you a better idea of how the expression is used.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12.08.2008, 16:21
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: [Italian] use of the word "prego"

Prego means "you are welcome" and "please", exactly like "Bitte" in German.

prego as a verb would be the 1st person, present tense, of "pregare" (to pray)
I pray in the church = prego in chiesa
pregare is also a politer/formal way to say "to ask", that is the "si prega" form.
"si prega di non fumare" = literally "it is asked to not smoke" = no smoking, please
la prego di sedersi = I ask you to sit down = sit down, please
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
italian, prego




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Baschi!!! [apparently some Swiss pop "star" has been "spotted"] Gina Daily life 28 22.06.2010 15:27
What is the german word for "theraputic"? moula Language corner 14 19.08.2007 22:40
[German] Use of the word "gern" bubbles4352 Language corner 17 05.07.2007 14:19
Use of the [German] word "Geil" Yokine Language corner 24 26.06.2007 17:34
[English] Is "degressive" a word? litespeed Language corner 4 02.06.2007 12:51


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:04.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0